BURNS HARBOR | Being green is easy for residents living in In Good Company’s “Traditions” 75-apartment community, the first apartment community in Indiana certified “green” by the National Association of Home Builders.

Green housing is “sustainable home building using renewable materials prudently to conserve energy and environmental resources,” according to the association.

Traditions is located within The Village in Burns Harbor, a single-family neighborhood that also has been certified green by the home builders association, said Jonathan Hicks, one of two In Good Company’s owners.

“I think that the effort by the Village in Burns Harbor to be Northern Indiana’s first green neighborhood had a lot to do with us following suit and further that agenda,” he said. “As we learned more about green communities, we made the decision this is where we will stay.”

It is also “more responsible” for a company to provide green housing opportunities for the residents of Northwest Indiana, a region generally associated with heavy industry, Hicks said.

Building green doesn’t “really cost more,” He said.

“It’s simply not measurably more,” he said. “The benefit far outweighs the incremental difference.”

In Good Company, which was named the 2011 Management Company of the Year by the Indiana Apartment Association, owns and manages 23 apartment complexes throughout Indiana. Last year, it obtained a $6.5 million construction loan to build the green development on 40 lots purchased from the Village in Burns Harbor and hired L.I. Combs as its general contractor.

“They assisted us in obtaining (green) certification,” Hicks said. “It’s not just the building materials that are green. It’s the heating system, windows, construction materials and other things that all go into obtaining green status.”

The first building of the 10-building complex was fully leased before it opened. Hicks attributes it to the complex’s green status, plus the many amenities included in each unit.

“The green status is one aspect and the other is we’ve developed apartments with a strong residential fee,” he said. “Each has a laundry room; all interior lights fixtures were selected by a designer, virtually all bedrooms have a walk-in closet. In addition we have limited-access entries, detached and — in some units — inside garages and an open concept.”

Hicks anticipates having all 75 apartment leased by late fall.

“We could be moving toward permanent financing as opposed to a construction loan in a year,” he said. “We’re taking a measured risk in hopes we get the absorption. Emails and phone calls tell us demand is very strong for this product.”